New Facebook Page

I’ll be posting poems and links to poems (my own and others’), as well as updates on my various books, on my new Facebook page from now on.  If you’d like to follow me (without–pardon me–the B.S. “I’ll follow/like your blog if you follow/like mine–even if we never actually read anything on the blogs” interactions), please go to:

https://www.facebook.com/pages/Nancy-BevilaquaDreamers-Songs-Poetry-Page/315038911981818

Thank you!

Twelve Springs/Last Songs for a Paralyzed Pigeon

Twelve Springs/Last Songs for a Paralyzed Pigeon

            (For Cleo)

 

The state of the future is mind—

all the beautiful things at peace.

 

 1.

Glassless world.  Primacy of sky.

 

2. 

Gone light.  A bird close to death

almost weightless in the hand.  Breath,

air, spirit, all one word in Aramaic: wind

gone in, so they can start the inward flight.

 

 3.

Steel, mint, rose.  Fallen to a sidestreet

where I would have to find her.  God’s mind.

Eyes half-closed

at the mystery of human song,

the mystery of why

I’d sing for her at all.

 

 4.

Twelve springs.  One long afternoon

waiting in my hand.  My songs

just air, just for her, in

and out of tune.  At midnight

it was done.  The inward flight:  all wind,

no horizon.

 

 5.

Bring me back a sprig, my steadfast dove,

let it show me that it’s true, that there’s

a place for you, space in God’s hand,

pretty wings to cut the air.

That you knew about the love.

 

 6.

We are all birds dreaming, hungry

at the hour of sleep.

New Poetry Blog

I just want to let people here know that yesterday I started a new blog, which will be dedicated to (my) poetry only.  I will continue to post here occasionally about my book, Holding Breath: A Memoir of AIDS’ Wildfire Days.  I hope that people will “stop by” and have a look.

http://dreamerssongs.wordpress.com/

New Poem–“Jacksonville”

Jacksonville

(for Jordan Davis and Trayvon Martin)

Glory’s in the glove-compartment:

your little American legends

brandished in banal

Floridian night,

under filling-station floodlights,

upon overtended lawn.

 

Take your damned flags and crosses

down; these nights

those children walk alone, not

comprehending, still hearing music,

still trying to get home.

Holding Breath/Kindle Countdown Deal

The “Kindle Countdown” promotion for my book, Holding Breath: A Memoir of AIDS’ Wildfire Days, just started today (I swear I didn’t remember until this morning when the alarm I’d set for it on my phone a few weeks ago went off!). I’ve never done one of these before, so it should be interesting.

In any case, the ebook is usually $3.99. At the moment (2/15/2014) it’s 99 cents; the price goes up in increments over the next few days. If anyone is interested, here’s the link:

More on the “Symbolism” (and Downright Cruelty) of Dove-Release, Pigeon-Racing, Etc.

I’ve written a number of posts here about the careless cruelty involved in the “sport” of pigeon-racing, and in the release of white doves or pigeons to commemorate a “special occasion.”  Here’s another example of what happens to those beautiful and innocent “symbols”–in this case, right after they were released by the Pope.  The birds who were attacked were able, in this case, to escape the grips of the crow and the gull, but, as the article says, “Their ultimate fate is unknown.”

http://religion.blogs.cnn.com/2014/01/27/angry-birds-popes-peace-doves-attacked/?hpt=hp_c3

Please find other ways to symbolize love and peace at your wedding or other occasion. Whether trained or not, pigeon or dove, released birds are subject to all kinds of danger and suffering–attacks by other birds, starvation, dehydration, drowning, cruel treatment by people who may take advantage of their docile natures, etc.  I would not be able to sleep on my wedding night knowing that I’d exposed fragile and innocent birds to such things, regardless of what any “professional dove releaser” told me.  Sending a creature out into harm’s way says nothing to me about love or peace–just the opposite, in fact.

A Holiday Excerpt From Holding Breath: A Memoir of AIDS’ Wildfire Days

I have a shadow of a memory of going out with David to buy a Christmas tree one cold, overcast afternoon in December.  We’d been sitting in the apartment, spending a weekend day in the usual way, when I decided that we had to get a tree for the apartment, and that we had to get it right away.  David, always game for anything that would give him a chance to regain his bearings in a world in which simple little pleasures like holiday traditions were permitted and possible, followed me out the door and over to Essex, where we picked out the tree, and then helped me carry it back home.  It would have had to have been a fairly small one, but I would have insisted that it be real so that the apartment would smell like Christmas.  I seem to remember that David was too tired by the time we got home to help me decorate it with the cheap ornaments and lights that I’d bought in the discount stores on Delancey Street, and instead sat on the bed watching me do it with that happy, bemused little expression on his face as I hung ornaments and no doubt chattered on about Christmas.  It was important to me that he at least have a tree for Christmas.

I was obligated to spend Christmas Day with my family in Connecticut, as I did every year, but David and I did spend Christmas Eve together.  We’d spent the day on Suffolk Street, doing whatever it was that kept us happy and occupied back then.  In the evening we went to my mother’s apartment in Peter Cooper Village for dinner.  David was nervous; we all were.  He wanted to make a good impression.  It had been, I think, a long time since he’d made a good impression on anyone other than me.

When we arrived, my mother was watching a show about tuberculosis on T.V.  For a few minutes, we all just watched.  No one knew what to say, or had the sense to turn it off.  Other than that, the evening went fairly well.  My mother gave David a green button-down shirt as a Christmas gift.  (Years later, my mother told me that she’d worried about eating from the plates and using the utensils that David had used afterwards.  I was shocked to hear it, even thought that kind of thinking wasn’t at all unusual at that time.  Still, I was, and will always be grateful that she invited him to dinner that night.)

On New Year’s Eve I know that I was with him.  I remember the apartment being dim and vaguely festive, still scented with the pine-smell of the tree, lit either with candles or Christmas lights, or both.  Late that night I sat on the bed and tried to call one of my favorite clients, a very young gay man named Jon, who was blessed with the most loving, supportive family I’d encountered in my time working with people with AIDS.  His father answered, and told me that Jon was either sleeping or in the hospital–I don’t remember which.  Weeks later, I learned that Jon had actually died several weeks earlier.  His father didn’t want to upset me on New Year’s Eve.  The family had come to think of me as a friend, as Jon had.

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